Cabbage, Kale & Rapini
Kale, cabbage and broccoli are still new vegetables to me as far as growing them in my garden beds. This patch of my garden will be a lot of testing and learning this year, and I am so excited about it!
I tried growing kale for the first time last season, and really loved it! I loved being able to pluck off leaves of kale throughout the summer, to make salads or freeze for the winter months (modern-day Laura Ingalls is what I call that). In July, I plant a second batch of kale plants to grow through the fall and early winter as a touch of frost makes their flavor a little bit sweeter. Some varieties can actually stay in the garden until it is 20 degrees outside. I am planting Wild Garden Frills Kale and Lacinato Kale, as both can withstand colder temperatures, and offer contrasting textures and colors within the garden and in salads, soups and other winter dishes.
I am trying two new brassicas this year, Pointed Sweetheart Cabbage and Rapini. I am planning on growing both in the spring, and succession planting Mâche, Spinach and Swiss Chard in these spaces once the cabbage and rapini have been harvested.
I am growing these pointy-topped cabbages one, because they look crazy cool and two, I love sauerkraut and have always wanted to try and make it! I have heard cabbage is easy to grow, so we shall see how they turn out this season.
Rapini is a leafing broccoli that I love to roast in the oven. It has a lighter broccoli flavor, and has become one of our standard roasting vegetables throughout the winter when the vegetable choices are low at the grocery store. I am excited to see how the flavor and texture of rapini change when it is homegrown.
Learning in the garden is one of my favorite things to do, and I look forward to reporting back on how my new brassicas grow this season!